Andy Warhol dresses

Today I met A (not her real initial) at the Worcester Art Museum. As happens every time I visit a museum, I enjoyed simply being in a space devoted to art as much as looking at any individual artwork or exhibit.

I like spending time in churches because churches are dedicated to the practice of silence, and I like spending time in museums because museums are dedicated to the practice of looking. In a well-designed museum, every turn offers an interesting vista: something to observe in all directions.

Earlier this summer when I told A that simply being in a museum surrounded by art makes me feel a creative boost, she compared it to forest bathing, the practice of soaking in the psychological benefits of a natural setting. Just as spending time in nature is a soothing balm for the soul, spending time in a museum is, too.